AIBU or are my inlaws? VV long - sorry!

(120 Posts)
dimebardolly Thu 06-Dec-12 17:49:15

Will try to make this as quick as possible because if I went into every thing my inlaws have done to piss me off, you would still be reading this time next year!

It was my daughters birthday last week. All birthdays are special to me and I have always been very particular that cards and presents are opened on the day. After all, it is a birthDAY, not birthWEEK, birthMONTH etc. I know not everyone feels like this but I honestly do and I have asked them many times over the past decades to respect this. Anyway to get to the point, when her day arrived, she had no cards or presents from her nanny, grandad, both her aunties and one of her uncles (they all live near each other but about 70 miles away from us). She did get a gift from another Uncle (these relatives are all my in-laws btw) which she was very happy about as it meant she wasn't entirely forgotten by her extended family.

My mil sent a text at around dinnertime wishing my daughter a happy birthday. I replied that I would pass on her good wishes but she was wondering why she hadn't even had a card to open from her. 5 minutes later my fil telephoned. He asked to speak to my daughter and I agreed but I said I wanted to talk to him first. I asked why no-one had bothered to send any cards etc. First of all he said he was going to bring them down that day but he wasn't well. Then he said he couldn't send them because he had been away on holiday. Finally he said my sil would have brought them down but she isn't well either. I pointed out that:
1) There was never any question of him coming down that day. 2 weeks previously I had spoken to my mil to say that we were busy on the day (school, afterschool clubs, dinner with schoolfriend etc). She asked if she should post her stuff and I happily said yes. I also agreed to gift wrap should she like me to.
2) Yes, he had been away for the preceeding week. However, this had been planned for ages and he could have posted her stuff early.
3) My sil hadn't arranged to visit. At no time did she mail me, text me or call me. If she had, perhaps something could have been done but this wasn't the case.

It appears to me that basically, my daughters birthday wasn't important enough to any of them to bother going to the post office, buying a stamp and sending a card. My fil huffed and puffed and kept telling me I was "taking this all the wrong way".

My question is, is there a right way for your childrens grandparents (their only gp's as both my parents are dead) to not bother marking a birthday? For a bit of background, everyone always makes a big fuss over the family birthdays and I was told in no uncertain terms that for my fil's birthday this year, he was expecting to be taken away on holiday (he got a weekend away from us, a trip to Rome from one daughter and a trip to see the Northen lights from another of his sons).

For the record, I always make sure presents and cards I send are sent promptly!

Thanks for reading and for any replies. I feel I need to get some other points of view before I even think about visiting at Christmas!

KittyFane1 Thu 06-Dec-12 19:08:20

Some telling off here OP sad

tyaca Thu 06-Dec-12 19:15:23

how old is your dd?

I am very glad you are not a member of my family. Lighten up.

Alligatorpie Thu 06-Dec-12 19:18:11

I don't think YABU.

I would be pissed off if my child's grandparents didn't send a card on her birthday. I don't think that is asking for too much. I hope she wasn't upset.

StinkyWicket Thu 06-Dec-12 19:20:33

I think YANBU. If they never had any intention of sending a card or gift - fine. But what is the point of sending one after the fact? Either send one in time or not at all.

I would never had said anything though.

MrsDeVere Thu 06-Dec-12 19:20:47

Blimey O'Reily shock

You insist that your DD only gets gifts and cards on the exact day of her birthday
You tell your ILs that there is no question of them seeing her on her birthday because she has after school club.
You ask them where her cards etc are
You insist that you speak to your FIL before he is allowed to talk to you DD.

Bloody hell.

I can't think of anything else to say really.

MrsClown1 Thu 06-Dec-12 19:22:11

Dont let it bother you. I hardly ever send cards to anyone, even though I love them to bits! They sound lovely grandparents. Please dont let this bother you and spoil things.

I do think they are needy though and very selfish for expecting such big presents for birthdays! My dad gets a box of chocs and a ticket to a show or something! My parents would be mortified if they thought I was spending all that money on them. Times are hard.

Haberdashery Thu 06-Dec-12 19:23:31

How old is the child? If six, then I can see why she might be upset. If ten, YABU.

ChestyNutsRoastingOnAnOpenFire Thu 06-Dec-12 19:25:10

I don't think YABU at all

It doesn't take much to send a family member a card in time for their actual birthday.

I too would be disappointed in them especially in view of FIL birthday demands.

Blimey you sound OTT.

FernandoIsFaster Thu 06-Dec-12 19:35:33

You all sound a bit crackers and very materialistic.

heidihole Thu 06-Dec-12 19:36:55

I'm so sorry OP I know this isn't what you want to hear but YABU sad

You sound like hard work. I hope my son doesn't marry someone like you

1978andallthat Thu 06-Dec-12 19:49:03

Yanbu. She's a child. Sounds like they were trying to make a point. Wankers.

dimebardolly Thu 06-Dec-12 19:52:13

Thanks for all the replies.

I understand why so many of you think IABU and I've found it useful reading.

For what it's worth, there are reasons why (relating to my upbringing) I try to make birthdays a very special occasion and my inlaws are fully aware of these. However, I never demand a present, only a card so my daughter (10) can see that they were thinking of her. I only wish they were a part of her life on a regular basis but they aren't. Sorry, I didn't make it clear - my mil had no intention of coming down on the day - she was merely asking what we were doing. If she had wanted to come down, then we would have incorporated her into our plans.

They do make a huge fuss over birthdays themselves (I know that many people don't and I respect that) and if I ever forgot to send a neice or other relative a card (and a present), I would never hear the end of it. Understandable, I suppose, given my views!

My daughter did speak to grandad and thanked him for the phone call. She was disapointed, not because she didn't get anything but because she sees how every other member of the family is thought of on their day. I see now that perhaps I was getting more and more wound up on her behalf when the only person who was really fed up was me. My husband works away but he wasn't surprised when I told him. I guess he is used to his family more than I am!

At the end of the day, I will let it go, visit at Christmas as usual, with a smile and try not to take it personally. I can't change the way I feel but I guess I need to change my reactions.

thanks again.

MsElleTow Thu 06-Dec-12 19:59:27

Your PILs, who are your DD's only GP's, aren't allowed to see her on her birthday because she has got an after school club and is seeng a school friend, and you have got all pissy with them because her cards and presents weren't there on time! shock.

Fuck me! Do you want her to see her grandparents? Oh, and if I were them you wouldn't be very welcome at Christmas TBH!

MuddlingMackem Thu 06-Dec-12 20:08:21

In my opinion, YANBU.

I agree with you about a birthDAY celebration and agree with getting cards to children so they have them to open on the day. My dad is even more so on this, on one occasion wanting to drive through to drop a card off the night before so dc would have it in the morning, even though we were going to be visiting on dc's actual birthday. I talked him out of that one and convinced him that dc would like better to be handed them when we called round. grin FWIW, if dc have birthday's mid-week, we make the effort for gps to see them the weekend before and the gp's have always been happy with that. It has got easier now that dc are old enough to phone to say thank you for presents though.

As far as your in-laws are concerned, I think it does show where your dd is in their priorities and, given their outstanding hypocrisy on the issue, I can see why you're steaming. Unfortunately, I think the only thing you can do for your daughter is manage her expectations, although that's probably a task better handled by her dad as he can criticise them with impunity, and you definitely can't.

PickledInAPearTree Thu 06-Dec-12 20:09:58

I was going to say yabu as I thought they wanted to visit.

I think you were a bit ott maybe but my mil has recently become very disinterested in ds so I can see where you are coming from a bit - it's hurtful sometimes.

My mil is good with cards etc but i would rather her spend the time to visit than the money.

narniasnarnia Thu 06-Dec-12 20:19:12

My sister is like you OP - she can remember who didn't send her a birthday card in 1983, and believe me, she still holds a grudge....

Lets just say she no longer has very good relationships with much of her family and inlaws, because as you can imagine she holds a grudge against nearly every family member she has, and boy does she let you know it.

Get a life....

BlueberryHill Thu 06-Dec-12 20:23:30

If they are treating your daughter differently to other members of the family, yanbu in your feelings. I still don't think that you should have tackled your fil, but more from the POV that it won't make a difference.

EnjoyResponsibly Thu 06-Dec-12 20:32:42

Dime you've taken a pasting well. I think your last sentence is the measured approach going forward. I can see why you're upset TBH, but as you evidently can't change them (as DH says "you cant educate shit") finding a way to live with it so DD doesn't get upset too is crucial.

redbusandbigben Thu 06-Dec-12 20:38:07

I don't think you are being unreasonable!

Your little girl is 10 - of course she would like birthday cards / presents on her 10th birthday! It's one day and a special day to your DD.

Shame on those adults who could not be bothered!

Shenanagins Thu 06-Dec-12 20:39:03

Op after your second post i can see your point although i do think it was wrong to tackle your fil about it but then he sounds like an arse over his birthday so maybe not.

maybe its time to treat them in the same way as they treat your dd.

MrsDeVere Thu 06-Dec-12 20:50:15

I think you are just going to have to accept that you cannot impose your feelings about birthdays on anyone else.

I understand you feel strongly and you obviously have reasons to. Other people are not going to understand and you will be forever disappointed.

Surely its better to accept the situation now and let go?

For your sake?

You don't want your DD to pick up on it all and begin to feel that there is something wrong with her and her GPS don't love her.

You continue to make a big deal of her birthday, make it special for her and anything else that comes her way will be a bonus.

eccentrica Thu 06-Dec-12 21:03:13

You are not being unreasonable. I think it's important for kids to have a big pile of cards to open on their birthday, and much more so as they are her only grandparents.

I'm in my thirties and I still get cards from various aunts, uncles, etc. who are in their seventies, eighties and nineties!

Notmadeofrib Thu 06-Dec-12 21:04:52

well I thought you'd disappeared in a puff of indignation, so well done for coming back... not the easiest of replies to read.

Sounds like rolling with the punches is the only way - you got to accept people are just plain weird!

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